Dec 13, 2013

The real cost of keeping a sugar glider.....

Sugar gliders are sometimes promoted as being a cheap and in-expensive exotic pet but is it really that cheap? This is an in-depth look at the cost of owning a sugar glider. While the price of buying a sugar glider may not be as extravagant as other exotics there are many things you need to buy to keep your pet sugar gliders healthy, happy, and safe.
Sugar gliders can vary in price drastically depending on color, temperament, and genetics. A common Grey sugar glider costs around RM250-350, depending on breeder / petshops. There are many different colors, breeds, and traits of sugar gliders, even some that are not listed here, but here in Malaysia we currently only have the standard grey gliders. Sugar gliders are very social creatures and should at least be kept in pairs, which doubles the cost of purchasing a sugar glider.
Final price for just the sugar gliders: RM250-350 x2
Sugar Glider Cage
Your new sugar gliders will also need a cage. Sugar glider cages also vary in price drastically depending on size, brand, and material. A nice standard 3ft high cage may cost around RM100++. You may be able to find smaller cages and for less money but I  do not personally recommend keeping 2 gliders in a cage any smaller than that and if you can afford to go bigger your sugar gliders will love the extra space to jump around. If you do plan to opt for a bigger cage, the 4ft cages are around RM300++.
Alternatively you can build your own sugar glider cage from coated pvc wire mesh (with 1/2″ holes) which can be purchased from most local hardware stores. This lets you build your cage to your own specific size needs and is generally cheaper.
Average price for cage: RM100 – RM300++
Sugar Glider Food
Sugar gliders need food and a lots of it, not so much in quantity but sugar gliders need a very wide variety for their diet.  Due to the omnivorous nature and unique feeding style of the sugar glider it is unlikely that we will ever see an “all in one” glider food that is excepted by experienced sugar glider owners.
For the scope of this writing I  will be using a HPW diet plan by Bugsy~ trusted by many glider owners and give a round about price for the first time purchase of these items.
HPW Starter Kit – RM28
Instant HPW – RM35
The HPW diet calls for 1 ½ cups of Honey.
Manuka honey is priced at RM33 whilst RewaRewa honey is priced at RM19.
This mix is said to feed one sugar glider for about 3-4 months so it will last you that long.
You will also need fruits, vegetables, and insects.  I will be estimating the fruits & veges on a ‘Weekly’ basis, as I purchase mine weekly.
Fresh Fruits – RM10 ~ RM 15 (Per Week / Per Glider) for variety, different kinds can be purchased. But fruits can be easily spoilt, if kept long in the refridgerator.
Veges – RM10 roughly in a  week.
Mealworms – RM3-5 probably in a week
Treats – RM20-RM30 depending what kind of treats.
Bugsy Dried diet  – RM20 > depending what kind.
Estimated initial price of food needed the day you bring your gliders home: RM100+
Cage Accessories
Your sugar gliders wouldn’t be very happy with an empty cage and nowhere to eat, drink, sleep, and play so you are going to need some cage accessories. There are a variety of toys, pouches, water bottles, and food dishes available and some stores even sell cage kits that come with a few pouches and toys.
2 pouches for inside the cage – RM40++
bonding pouch for outside – RM30++
Stainless Steel Bowls – RM11
Water bottle – RM10
Wodent wheel  – RM110++
random cage toys to climb on, hide in, swing from, and play with – RM5 onwards
Est. total for Cage Accessories :  RM250+-
Sugar Glider Vets – Trips that may be necessary in the long run. Be prepared!
Now i know what you’re going to say, “sugar gliders don’t need vaccinations or medical care”. Well your half right, sugar gliders are not found to be carriers of rabies, distemper, or anything you would normally get your dog or cat vaccinated against but that doesn’t mean they don’t require medical care or need to go to the vet. Having a knowledgeable sugar glider vet give your glider a check up is a great idea. A vet can tell you if your sugar glider is the right weight, if it has any deficiencies, any parasites, heart problems, hearing, vision. Sure you can tell if your glider isn’t feeling great but why let it get that far? a vet can do blood-work and you can catch problems before they arise as symptoms in your sugar gliders, which is better for your sugar gliders quality of life and much cheaper in the long run.
Before purchasing sugar gliders (or any other pets) i recommend you set aside RM 100++ in case of emergency and to help with routine vet visits. This may sound like a lot but if something does happen and one of your babies needs surgery you will be glad you have it. Operations on such small animals are complicated and very expensive.
Just in case : RM100++ x2 if you have more than 1 glider..
This is just an estimation on prices. Your initial cost of keeping a sugar glider varies greatly depending on the type of glider, cage, and the quality of health care you plan to provide for your precious pets. Errrrrmmmm

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